There is a lot of reading about hunting that you can do. I can’t imagine how I’m ever going to read all of the hunting books that I want to. My reading list may be too long.
Hunting North America
Outwitting the Whitetail by Perry G. Riley
If you want to start hunting whitetail deer but don’t yet know how, then you’ll want to read this book (more of an oversized pamphlet) or my own forthcoming book. Despite not being much more than a big pamphlet, this book lays out the things that you need to know about hunting whitetails briefly and accurately. The book is not new, and his information on hunting equipment is outdated, but all of the information here is as good as it gets. (The last sentence is exactly how I’d describe Sun Tzu’s The Art of War too.) Read it and skip the filler and unnecessary color found in so many other places.
Big Bucks the Benoit Way by Bryce Towsley
There are several ways to hunt whitetail deer. The most difficult way is to track them. In New England that’s how it is done. Whenever you here about the best deer hunters you’ll hear about the Benoits. They have been very successful at hunting big bucks in the most difficult way that it is done. Trailing deer (that aren’t dropping blood) may not be very useful for those of us who do not hunt the thousands of acres in New England. Those of us who hunt a few tens, or hundreds, of acres should not be walking around where we don’t want the deer to know where we are. There is useful information herein, but you can find the same information elsewhere too. In any case this is the book that you’ll want if you want to read about trailing whitetail deer.
Ultimate Deer Food Plots by Ed Spinazzola
This is the book that you’ll want to have if you want to create your own food plots. The author was a farmer by profession and hunted as a hobby. He experimented in all sorts of ways in order to create food plots for deer. This is the food plot book that you want, not Quality Food Plots by QDMA.
More Stories of the Old Duck Hunters by Gordon Macqurrie
This is one of three books about fictional/true stories of some amusement and are about a guy hunting and fishing with his father-in-law. The stories are interesting and worth reading for entertainment. They were written long ago, and with these books you can gain an appreciation of what hunting was like fifty years ago.
The Old Man and the Boy by Robert Ruark
Another book filled with stories about how hunting and fishing used to be done. You’ve probably heard about this book and there’s a reason for that.
A review from amazon.com:
Ruark’s book conjures up memories of my own Old Man. The same guidelines on handling guns and how to shoot are still valid today. Some of the more important parts of this book deal with just going hunting, fishing , etc. not with the results of the day, but why we go do these things. Learn why fishing isn’t about catching fish. Learn why some dogs are made to hunt and some aren’t. The last chapter “All He Left Me Was The World”, is not to be read by the tenderhearted. It strikes a chord with any of us who have lost our Old Man. I too went hunting the day of the Old Man’s funeral, I know that’s what he would have wanted, and so does Ruark.
Elephant Hunting in East Equatorial Africa by Arthur H. Neumann
As far as hunting books go, I can think of three that stand far above the rest. Elephant Hunting in East Equatorial Africa was written by one of the best elephant hunters. He hunted elephants in what is now Kenya. His book is a marvel of a story. He shot elephants, he was mauled by one, he lost a dog to a crocodile, and collected lots of butterflies. It is a great book on hunting and exploring Africa.
Selous is widely regarded by many as the greatest elephant hunter ever. He hunted in South Africa at a time when they still used black powder muzzleloaders and they needed multiple shots to secure elephants. I was struck about how harsh living and hunting in Africa can be. One of his first stories is about him chasing after some animal, his horse being killed by animals and him without food or water for several days. Its quite a story and the first of many. He then went on to much fame, even being among one of Theodore Roosevelt’s good friends. I’d call this book “incomparable,” were it not for Neumann and Bell.
Bell of Africa by W.D.M. Bell
My dad’s favorite book, and mine, is Bell of Africa. While the previous two books were fascinating stories of hunting and adventure in Africa, you get more information and more stories of interest in this book. The author is described in the introduction as deciding to become an elephant hunter when he was young. He had never seen an elephant or shot a gun, but those were mere obstacles to be overcome. The introduction describes many of his adventures and marvels at how many he had “before becoming a man.” He ran away from home, and his German boarding school. He hunted for meat in the Yukon during the gold rush. He traveled across the world twice while working on a couple of ships and became a railroad guard in Africa. All that, and more, before he started hunting. Its as good as a book gets.
No link for this one because the only one available on amazon.com is of Bell’s three books as a used set of three for over $1400. If I did not already have them, then these three books (by Selous , Neumann, and Bell) would be worth $200, or more, apiece, but $1400 is too much.